Government launches its plans for a modern industrial strategy

s300_industrial-strategy-cover2Today the government released a Green Paper – Building Our Industrial Strategy. This is important stuff. Strategic planning is what government’s should do, and, mostly, leave the businesses and entrepreneurs to deliver on the strategy.

I’ve learned, over the years, that readers here have rich and wide experience in many sectors of our economy. I thought, therefore, that it might be worthwhile to provide that Green Paper here – all 132 pages of it.

There’s a one page summary of the Industrial Strategy to be seen HERE.

A little odd thought just crossed my mind about 132 pages. Haven’t other documents I’ve posted here also been 132 pages in length. I wonder, is it something to do with printing – multiples of eight plus 4 pages for the cover. Just a thought.

Carelessness with government sensitive papers should be career limiting

There have been numerous occasions when eagle-eyed photographer Steve Back captured sensitive and confidential government documents being held openly by ministers, and the like, attending meeting at 10 Downing Street. Heck, I wrote about it in “Let’s end these unseemly security breaches” not long ago.

confidential-papersFor want of repeating myself, this is what I wrote then,

If it’s a secret, confidential, or sensitive document then it should be held securely in a document wallet, attaché or brief case. It’s cavalier and unprofessional to simply hold such papers in one’s hand, as it’s easy to drop them, lose them to a strong wind, or allow their contents to be viewed by a long camera lens. It should not happen, and sends the message that security considerations are an inconvenience. Wrong, what should be held securely, should be secure.

Seems no one’s learned. Today Steve Back captured this photo. All that can be said in defence of the incautious idiot is that it was on the way in to No 10 and not the reverse. If you’re keen to see an interpretation of the words, they can be seen HERE.


Alternative legal opinions on the High Court judgement on Parliament’s Brexit vote

I’ve read the whole High Court judgment on the case of Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. You can read it HERE.

The point of law was whether the Government had the power to sign Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union. The judges said no it had not, and in consequence Parliament must have a vote prior to its signing.

In our constitution Parliament sits above the law – not though the rule of law. Inasmuch that the Government is answerable to Parliament. I suppose you could say that Parliament is superior to Government. Government governs – such a simple concept. Parliament oversees and holds the Government to account – again a simple concept. No need for the Judges to interpret this process – when it’s blindingly obvious what the nation expects the government and parliament to do – and that is to sign Article 50 to leave the EU.

judicial-power-projectIf you’d like to read some learned legal views on the High Court judgement, then you can at the Judicial Power Project. Pleasingly they’ve got five short legal critiques, and other brief legal views of what happens next, and the bigger picture.

Here’s the final part of one of the five views, worth reading all five. This one by Richard Ekins [click to read], who is Associate Professor of Law in the University of Oxford and Head of the Judicial Power Project.

The Government’s intention to trigger art. 50 by way of the royal prerogative, challenged in Miller, is entirely consistent with this rule. It is consistent also with responsible government and parliamentary democracy, for the Government is and always has been accountable to Parliament for its exercise of the prerogative.

Parliamentary sovereignty is rightly fundamental to our constitution. But the Miller judgment was not necessary to protect it and, welcome rhetoric notwithstanding, does nothing to uphold it.

Cripes! Politician commits to returning the Euston Arch

No longer being overtly political I refrain from posting government minister’s speeches.

euston_arch_1896I’m making a rare exception. The Minister of State for Transport John Hayes delivered a speech on 31st October at the Independent Transport Commission discussion evening, in which he calls for beauty in transport, and the return of the Euston Arch. Read the speech HERE.

The Minister spoke about banishing, what he called the ‘Cult of Ugliness’. Expenditure on Crossrail, HS2, Crossrail2, new roads, and bridges, he says, offers an opportunity to making the public realm better and beautiful.

The Minister highlighted our transport heritage at “Kings Cross, St Pancras, Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads, the classical portico of Huddersfield station, and the gentle gothic of Great Malvern”.

Concluding his speech the Minister said,

“We will make good the terrible damage that was done to Euston, by resurrecting the Euston Arch. …. I support the Euston Arch Trust’s great ambition to see those stones stand in Euston once again as part of the rebuilt arch.”

Boundary Commission proposals see Bisley moved to Woking constituency

The Boundary Commission for England proposals, viewable from today, maybe not the hottest topic for the general public, What with more people interested in GBBO’s likely move to Channel 4, the Archers court case result, the weather, and David Cameron’s swift exit from Parliament.

However, the Boundary Commission for England’s proposals will rumble on in political circles for months, and months to come.

Do the proposals affect Surrey. Not a great deal. See what’s proposed at Initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in the South East region. In short, they’re not proposing changes to the number of constituencies, only moving wards in some constituencies to balance the number of electorates per constituency. Here’s what they say about Surrey Heath,

86: In addition to transferring the Byfleet ward, we propose other changes to the existing Woking constituency. We propose including the Bisley ward from the existing Surrey Heath constituency in our Woking constituency. This is the only change we proposed to the existing Surrey Heath constituency. In the eastern part of our Woking constituency, we propose that it include the Borough of Guildford Send ward from the existing Mole Valley constituency.

Here are the tables from the Appendix in the report of ward sizes – first table is Woking, and the second is Surrey Heath.



Stay safe online #1: Install software updates

CyberstreetwiseAnnounced today, 26th July 2016, HM Government urges people in Surrey, through, to update their mobile phones and computers with the latest software updates. Updates to software contain vital security updates to keep you safe online.  Here’s what the Government announced,

♦ An estimated 2 million cybercrime offences were committed last year (according to ONS figures*).

♦ Advice from GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG recommends that software updates are the most effective action Britons can take to protect themselves online.

♦ However the majority of people in the South East don’t always download the latest software updates for their mobile phone (68%) or for their computer (64%), as soon as they are available.

Cyber Streetwise is urging people and businesses across Surrey to always download the latest software and app updates as soon as they are available. Software and app updates contain vital security upgrades which protect devices from viruses and hackers. They are, according to CESG, the most important action people and businesses can take to protect themselves from cybercrime.

GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG, strongly recommends that individuals and businesses regularly update software on all devices that use the internet to allow the latest security updates to be installed. This provides greater protection from viruses and other cyber threats.

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